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BP vs USA

So now Bloomberg tells us that the Coast Guard has given BP only 48 hours to increase their containment capacity:

US gives BP 48 Hours to Boost Containment Capacity

What a crazy world.  The BP situation is such a profound demonstration of the dangers of putting ideology first.  The left thinks that oil companies are bad, oil is bad- and so they are willing to destroy our environment to prove it!

Check this comparison:

* The GDP of the USA is $14.6 trillion.  “GDP” (revenue) of BP is $266 billion.  By that measure, the US is more than 50 times bigger.  But of course, that doesn’t present the real relative capacity of the US to respond, vs BP.  For instance:

* BP’s operating cash flow (the amount of money it had left last year after paying most of its expenses- though not, for instance, debt service or any investment in finding more oil)- was $28 billion.  The federal budget last year was $3.5 trillion.  More than 100 times larger.

* BP, unlike the US, famously lacks (apparently) nearly unlimited borrowing power.

* Then there are the two huge legal issues.  First, BP under US law has limits on its liability for this disaster.  Second, BP’s management is under criminal investigation.  How much would you cooperate if your every statement could be used against you?

Now, I don’t mean to defend BP or all of the steps that it has or has not taken to clean up this mess.

But when a disaster like this happens, what our government should do is to step in and clean things up.  They shouldn’t tell BP to bring in skimmers- the feds should do this.  They shouldn’t ask BP to build sand bars- the feds should.  If the feds aren’t satisfied with the communications, then they should fix the communications problem.

Particularly on that latter point, I bet that BP may have a handful of employees with experience building sand bars.  In contrast, the US Corps of Engineers has 34,000.  What are these people doing- sitting on their butts emailing BP to get to work??!!

So the feds are giving BP 48 hours to boost containment capacity?!  Or what?  A cynic would speculate that this mean that BP has already told them they will boost containment capacity in the next 48 hours.  If not, where did the 48 hour number come from?  What happens in 48 hours?  48 hours from when?  BP already plans to triple its gathering capacity within a month.  If they can’t double it in 48 hours, should they just give up?

It’s just mind-boggling.  I have followed politics all my life, but have never seen an administration remotely as ideological as this one.  It’s all about hating oil companies, and, perhaps, punishing Republicans in Gulf States.  Now the Obama administration is willing to destroy our environment in order to punish oil producers.  They care about their ideology, and haven’t a bit of practical sense.

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